Corporate Research & Development Report 2018
Deloitte proudly presents the sixth edition of the Central European Corporate R&D Report. Through our 2018 R&D survey, we have continued to engage with companies in the region to ascertain the current trends and attitudes in R&D. The survey has allowed us to map out the difficulties faced by companies in the R&D area; learn how they protect their know-how; and ascertain what kind of government support is most commonly used in the region.
- Increase in R&D spending
- Protecting company IP
- Better support for R&D
- Driving R&D investment
- Get in touch
Combining the knowledge of our field experts and indispensable data provided by our survey respondents, we have put together an insightful report for your exploration.
This year the survey took place in nine Central European countries including Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and we had over 300 respondents who shared their R&D outlook.
Increase in R&D spending
More of the region’s companies have increased their R&D expenditure than was the case in the previous survey. Slightly more than a half of respondents (52%) predict that their companies will spend more on R&D in the near future (the next one to two years) than in 2017. More than two-thirds (67%) plan to increase their R&D spending over the next three to five years.
Protecting company IP
Similarly to the last survey, company secrets policies (67%) were the most commonly used means for companies to protect their IP; 12% of companies in the region use no form of IP protection at all. Overall, it appears that companies in Central Europe care slightly more about protecting their Intellectual Property than they did two years ago, and this should be seen as a positive change.
Better support for R&D
The biggest problems with the R&D support system, selected by 29% of companies, were identifying the R&D activities that are eligible for tax incentives and coping with tax authorities’ unclear interpretations of R&D regulations. Policy makers apparently do not need to impose new laws in order to improve the climate for innovation. Simply improving the tax guidelines for innovative businesses could be sufficient.
Driving R&D investment
Similarly to 2016, companies see the availability of diverse support (63%) and skilled researchers (62%) as the main drivers that could cause them to increase their R&D investment. Since a lack of qualified researchers is currently a major challenge for companies in Central Europe, governments across the region should perhaps review their policies on hiring foreigners.
While the innovativeness of an economy is highly linked to its R&D spending, a country's success in innovation does not depend only on research expenditure. Institutional factors, such as the quality of the law and whether the environment for investors is friendly or hostile also have an impact. Our survey clearly shows that Central European companies often complain about unclear tax rules for R&D projects and this is an issue state authorities should address in order to boost innovative investment.
Luděk Hanáček, CE Corporate R&D Programme Leader